However, it is certainly true that each person responds to the need to change differently. Did you know it takes approximately 8 miles (*see fact note below), to turn a tanker 180 degrees – and it feels as though the Captain of HMS Great Britain has just received the instructions to start taking avoiding action. Unlike a tanker, some of us are instinctively faster movers than others, we can transmogrify into speedboats – darting out to attach the enemy. But we do actually need the back-up of the whole tanker: to win this War.
Managing change-averse staff through alternative ways of working requires enormous patience and usually time, but you don’t have that luxury today. Working together, or bringing in external help, perhaps starting at the top, can help to challenge and shift thinking, and so steer your ship in a stronger direction (though maybe not a complete 180 degree turn)!
Firms need to recognise the 4 stages people go through, at different speeds, to enable them to take on board any change, which are:
- Denial, - it isn’t happening and we don’t need to do anything
- Resistance – why should I change, it is ‘their’ fault, and they should sort it, yes....but!
- Exploration – what could we do, what are the choices? What could we do instead?
- Commitment – we can solve this, let’s take some action, let’s work together
*fact note: According to several ship owners and brokers, the calculation is based on a 70,000 dwt (deadweight) Bulk carrier ballasting at 14 knots from A to B. The ship decides for some inexplicable reason to turn around, which is an unlikely occurrence, requiring it to slow to about 8 – 10 knots to complete the turn which would take between 1 – 2 hours, depending on currents and weather conditions. For interest, a ship rarely performs a 180 degree turn, if ever, as in port there is no room and a ship has its course plotted and planned to avoid such an eventuality. (Thanks James!)
Originally written 6th January 2009